The Overlap of Lung Tissue Transcriptome of Smoke Exposed Mice with Human Smoking and COPD
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Genome-wide mRNA profiling in lung tissue from human and animal models can provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While 6 months of smoke exposure are widely used, shorter durations were also reported. The overlap of short term and long-term smoke exposure in mice is currently not well understood, and their representation of the human condition is uncertain. Lung tissue gene expression profiles of six murine smoking experiments (n = 48) were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and analyzed to identify the murine smoking signature. The "human smoking" gene signature containing 386 genes was previously published in the lung eQTL study (n = 1,111). A signature of mild COPD containing 7 genes was also identified in the same study. The lung tissue gene signature of "severe COPD" (n = 70) contained 4,071 genes and was previously published. We detected 3,723 differentially expressed genes in the 6 month-exposure mice datasets (FDR <0.1). Of those, 184 genes (representing 48% of human smoking) and 1,003 (representing 27% of human COPD) were shared with the human smoking-related genes and the COPD severity-related genes, respectively. There was 4-fold over-representation of human and murine smoking-related genes (P = 6.7 × 10-26) and a 1.4 fold in the severe COPD -related genes (P = 2.3 × 10-12). There was no significant enrichment of the mice and human smoking-related genes in mild COPD signature. These data suggest that murine smoke models are strongly representative of molecular processes of human smoking but less of COPD.
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